MADISON — Wisconsin fell to Stanford on Saturday evening in five sets, knocking the Badgers out of the NCAA Tournament.
There were eight Pac-12 and Big Ten teams in the tournament. Three teams from each conference were in the Elite 8, with all the match-ups between the Pac-12 and Big Ten teams taking place on Big Ten courts.
The two teams battled out in the first set to have an 11-all tie score. Wisconsin went on a 3-0 run to take the lead. Stanford kept close behind the Badgers until Wisconsin took a four point lead after a service ace from Kelli Bates. Wisconsin won the set 25-18 after a kill from Romana Kriskova.
Stanford took the lead in the first parts of the second set. Wisconsin’s Romana Kriskova had an unusual unforced error on a kill to help Stanford gain a four-point lead going in to a media timeout. After the timeout, Wisconsin went on a 6-0 run to steal the lead from the Cardinal. Stanford then tied the score at 17-all. Wisconsin had a 21-18 lead, but Stanford out-scored Wisconsin 4-2 down the stretch to narrow Wisconsin’s lead to 23-22. Stanford tied the game at 24-all, but Wisconsin managed to pull out the win, 26-24 on a kill from Haleigh Nelson.
The two teams had four tie scores starting the first 17 points of the third set. Stanford built a solid lead after the Cardinal led 10-7. Stanford led at 20-15 when Wisconsin went on a run to force a Stanford timeout. After the timeout, Stanford gained a five-point lead at 22-17. Wisconsin had a chance to make a comeback when they tightened the score to 23-20, but a service error from Lauren Carlini hurt the Badgers. Wisconsin could not manage to make the comeback, losing the set 25-21.
Stanford took the lead 6-3 in the fourth set. Stanford led the rest of the way. Wisconsin never came within two points of taking the lead. Stanford won the fourth set 25-21 on a kill from Ivana Vanjak. Stanford held Wisconsin to a .133 hitting percentage and 11 kills.
Stanford took the lead 7-3 in the fifth set. Both teams battled it out, but Wisconsin called a timeout when Stanford had the lead at 11-7. After the timeout, Stanford out-scored Wisconsin 4-2 to win the set, and match, 15-9.
Wisconsin hit at .244 percent. The Badgers had 64 assists, nine blocks and 72 digs. Stanford hit at .271. The Cardinal had 63 assists, 18 blocks and 65 digs.
Wisconsin ends the season with a record of 28-5. The seniors Lauren Carlini, Haleigh Nelson, Romana Kriskova and Tori Blake have made their mark on the UW program. They went to the NCAA Tournament all four years and finished in the top 10 all four years.